A Christchurch mosque victim has slept through the night for the first time since her husband was killed 18 months ago.
The woman was finally able to sleep after seeing "the bad man in shackles", a senior police officer says.
Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price shared with the Herald part of a powerful letter he'd received from an non-profit organisation about one of the victims of the mosque shootings.
"Up to Sunday night, she hadn't slept probably since her husband was killed and was very stressed and afraid constantly in spite of the good support," Price said.
The letter said: "She told me that when she went to court and saw security, the police, the court staff all working to keep them safe - and she saw the bad man in shackles and felt safe for the first time since the 15th of March last year."
Price said he was so moved by the letter he read it out to his team this morning.
"It really encapsulates why we do what we do as police."
It comes after the mass killer, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, was todaysentenced to life imprisonment without parole – meaning he will never be freed.
It is the first time in New Zealand history this sentence has been imposed.
Price said it was a relief for everyone involved.
"I saw aroha, I saw forgiveness, I saw closure for many but I also saw courage - you think about what was a day that tore out their hearts and this was an opportunity to see justice be done for them."
Price said the atmosphere at the start of the sentencing was tense for the victims but as they became more familiar with the courtroom environment victims were found their confidence.
"It was all about giving he victims a voice and making sure they were heard."
"The theme for me since the 15th of March has always been about unity."
He stressed that it was not about the police and that it should be seen as a "partnership of peace".
Price said a moment that stuck with him was the victims hugging the liaison officers after the verdict.
"It shows they can have trust and confidence in the New Zealand police and also a bond and unity that had occurred."
In the last couple of days, Price said he had three people express their interest in joining the police force as a result of the trial.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said while today's sentencing was an important milestone in the judicial process, "it should not overshadow the incredible stories of determination and survival of victims, heard over the course of this week".
He also acknowledged the hundreds of hours police staff worked over many months to ensure justice was ultimately served today.
"The investigation was one of the largest and most complex in New Zealand history, and I'm extremely proud of the team's exceptional policing through meticulous attention to detail and commitment to putting victims first."